Saturday, July 26, 2014

Medical Malpractice: 5 Things You Need To Know

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Did you know that in 2012, over $3 billion of medical malpractice payouts were spent in the US alone? Medical malpractice incidents are happening every minute anywhere in the world. It is considered as the third leading cause of death in the US (next to heart disease and cancer). So, if a patient is not aware of the medical negligence of his/her doctor, then chances are, someone’s life is in great danger.

What is Medical Malpractice?

When a person who has undergone some medical treatments but got harmed or hurt because his/her doctor failed to address proper health care treatment, or perhaps that person had a false diagnosis of his/her illness, then the patient might have experienced a medical malpractice. However, you can’t just say automatically that one has experienced one.

Before you can claim that there was a medical malpractice, there are some basic requirements to remember to prove that you have received a medical negligence. Here are some of the things you might consider before heading straight to any medical malpractice lawyer and probably file a complaint:

There is a doctor-patient relationship. You must prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed before suing a physician for his/her medical malpractice. This could only mean one thing: that you hired that doctor to treat/diagnose you and that the doctor agreed to treat/diagnose you as well.

The doctor must be negligent. A physician is liable for a medical malpractice if he/she is not skillful and careful enough in giving you treatment/diagnosis that his/her skills has already caused you harm. This could only mean that your doctor is NOT competent enough as compared to others who could have treat/diagnose you well.

The doctor’s negligence resulted to injury. A “harm” in a medical malpractice could be anything from surgical errors, wrong diagnoses, delayed treatment, failure to warn a patient of the risks or side effects of an operation, or even death. However, a patient (or someone from the patient’s family if the patient has died) must prove that it was the doctor’s incompetence that directly caused the “harm” or injury to him/her. It must be done by getting another medical expert to testify the other doctor’s negligence was the cause of the injury or death (and not the fatal disease).

The doctor is treating you in an unacceptable standard. You must prove that your attending physician was acting or treating you in a different way from the generally accepted standard way of treating/diagnosing a patient. If it finds you “weird” for a doctor to treat you in a way he/she shouldn’t have, then it might be considered as a medical negligence.

Your injury leads to damages. Here’s the thing: you can’t sue a doctor to a medical malpractice case unless he/she has done damage or certain damages to you. These damages may be physical and mental pains, loss of life’s pleasure, loss of work and earning capacity in the future, large amount of medical expenses and future medical bills, and/or punitive (intended) damage to a patient. However, damage may likely occur even without negligence, for instance, the patient dies from final stage of cancer. But if the family members of the patient insisted there was indeed negligence on the part of the doctor, then they can go to a medical malpractice lawyer and pursue the case.

Different countries or states have different take on medical malpractice cases. Always remember that you have the right to receive proper medical attention and services from medical professionals. Negligence from doctors is not an excuse because when it comes to receiving medical assistance every one of us is equal.

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